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Both these teams are in that pressure-cooker environment of trying to secure a top-eight spot with only six rounds left.

This match has been transferred from a 5.30pm kick-off on Saturday to a 1.50pm start on Sunday at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane due to the revised round 20 draw brought about by Queensland's snap lockdown.

The Raiders' third consecutive win last weekend - 12-10 over the Eels - put them there, proving they have plenty of fight left under those Vikings helmets. That win was also without their Dally M winner Jack Wighton and fullback Xavier Savage.

The Knights were without key personnel too but couldn't find enough killer punches in crunch moments before losing 28-8 to the Roosters - their second defeat in their past three games.

Coach Adam O'Brien said his team's "footy IQ" needed to be better on how to manage a game, especially in the second half, in terms of kicking and field position.

Canberra coach Ricky Stuart lauded his players after the two-point win over the Eels saying "that type of grit, that will to win" has always been what the Raiders jumper stands for. He will want more of that over the next six weeks.

The rundown

Team news

Knights: In a minor change announced an hour before kick-off, Sauaso Sue will start at lock with Connor Watson moving back to the bench. Tex Hoy will be the 18th man.

Mitchell Pearce was named among the reserves on Tuesday but was ruled out due to his hamstring problem. Simi Sasagi was the other player to drop out of the squad on Friday.

Kalyn Ponga dismissed any concerns around a sternum injury suffered against the Roosters last week during a media conference on Tuesday. 

Teenage young gun Bradman Best also said he was confident of playing after being named to return three weeks early from syndesmosis surgery.

Prop David Klemmer (head knock) returns to claim a place on the interchange, pushing Jack Johns out of the 21.

The Knights have won only one of their past five games at Suncorp Stadium.

Raiders: Joe Tapine moves from the bench to the starting side, with Josh Papalii now on the interchange. Dunamis Lui will be the 18th man for the Green Machine.

Bailey Simonsson (foot) and Dunamis Lui (calf) returned to full training but Simonsson was omitted from the 21-man squad on Friday.

Jack Wighton (ribs) was restricted to no contact training on Monday but took part in the side's skills session. 

English forward Elliott Whitehead (shoulder) trained strongly and will play.

Ryan James was the other player omitted from the squad 24 hours before kick-off.

The Raiders have conceded only 44 points in their past three games.

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Knights is number 1 Kalyn Ponga
    Fullback for Raiders is number 1 Jordan Rapana
  • Winger for Knights is number 2 Enari Tuala
    Winger for Raiders is number 2 Harley Smith-Shields
  • Centre for Knights is number 3 Kurt Mann
    Centre for Raiders is number 3 Jarrod Croker
  • Centre for Knights is number 4 Bradman Best
    Centre for Raiders is number 4 Sebastian Kris
  • Winger for Knights is number 5 Hymel Hunt
    Winger for Raiders is number 5 Semi Valemei
  • Five-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Phoenix Crossland
    Five-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Jack Wighton
  • Halfback for Knights is number 7 Jake Clifford
    Halfback for Raiders is number 7 Sam Williams


  • Prop for Knights is number 8 Jacob Saifiti
    Prop for Raiders is number 10 Emre Guler
  • Hooker for Knights is number 9 Jayden Brailey
    Hooker for Raiders is number 9 Josh Hodgson
  • Prop for Knights is number 10 Daniel Saifiti
    Prop for Raiders is number 17 Joseph Tapine
  • 2nd Row for Knights is number 11 Tyson Frizell
    2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 Corey Harawira-Naera
  • 2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Mitchell Barnett
    2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Elliott Whitehead
  • Lock for Knights is number 14 Sauaso Sue
    Lock for Raiders is number 13 Hudson Young


  • Interchange for Knights is number 13 Connor Watson
    Interchange for Raiders is number 8 Josh Papalii
  • Interchange for Knights is number 15 David Klemmer
    Interchange for Raiders is number 14 Tom Starling
  • Interchange for Knights is number 16 Josh King
    Interchange for Raiders is number 15 Matthew Timoko
  • Interchange for Knights is number 17 Brodie Jones
    Interchange for Raiders is number 16 Iosia Soliola


  • Reserve for Knights is number 20 Tex Hoy
    Reserve for Raiders is number 19 Dunamis Lui

Match Officials

  • Referee: Adam Gee
  • Touch Judge: Todd Smith
  • Touch Judge: Jon Stone
  • Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy

Last updated:

Key match-up

Joe Tapine v Daniel Saifiti: These two props last week each made 17 runs and each broke out of three tackles, with the Raiders international running for slightly more metres (157 to 133).

But everyone remembers Saifiti's NSW State of Origin form - 270 metres and 30 hit-ups in the first two games before injury kept him out of the third.

Stat attack

The 15 tackle busts Jordan Rapana made against the Eels last round has put him third in the NRL (90) behind competition leader David Fifita (115).


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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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